On February 5, the Tennessee House Civil Justice Subcommittee was scheduled to consider House Bill 1407 and House Bill 1483. Unfortunately, these two bills were not heard in committee, but are instead expected to be placed on a “special” firearms calendar that will likely be considered in March. By postponing the hearing for these pro-gun bills to March, their potential passage will be jeopardized. It is important that you contact members of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee TODAY and respectfully urge them to hear and act soon on HB 1407 and HB 1483. Time is of the essence and these bills must continue on their way through the legislative process without further delay.
Sponsored by state Representative Tilman Goins (R-10), HB 1407 would allow law-abiding Tennesseans with a Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) to carry a firearm into all state, city, county and municipal parks. Current Tennessee law allows a municipality or county to prohibit the possession of handguns, and therefore one's right to self-defense, while within a public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by a county or municipality. This law poses a problem for citizens by creating a patchwork of laws across the state with regard to which localities have prohibited firearms in their parks. Gun-free parks should be called what they really are -- self-defense-free zones. Current prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in parks don’t prevent criminals from breaking the law. They do, however, prevent law-abiding Tennesseans from protecting themselves using the most effective means available while they enjoy the parks funded with their tax dollars.
As of now, HB 1407 has garnered thirty cosponsors. The Senate companion, SB 1496, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week by a vote of 6 to 2.
HB 1483, sponsored by state Representative Debra Moody (R-81), would remove all grandfathered ordinances and resolutions passed before April 8, 1986 with regards to the prohibition or regulation of possession, transportation or storage of firearms and firearm ammunition by HCP holders. The Senate companion bill to HB 1483, Senate Bill 2031, has been introduced by state Senator Joey Hensley (R-28) and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Using the contact information provided below, please call AND e-mail members of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee TODAY and respectfully urge them to act soon on HB 1407 and HB 1483.
House Civil Justice Subcommittee:
Representative Jim Coley (R-27) , Chairman
Representative Mike Carter (R-29)
Representative Vance Dennis (R-71)
Representative Andrew Farmer (R-17)
Representative Sherry Jones (D-59)
Representative Jon Lundberg (R-1)
Representative Mike Stewart (D-52)
Representative Rick Womick (R-34)